The Microsoft Monitoring Agent is a service used to watch and report on application and system health on a Windows computer. The Microsoft Monitoring Agent collects and reports a variety of data including performance metrics, event logs and trace information. Software developers use the Microsoft Monitoring Agent to check the performance of new builds, and systems administrators use it to oversee application performance for enterprise workloads.
Administrators use the Microsoft Monitoring Agent for infrastructure monitoring through System Center Operations Manager (SCOM). The agent watches and determines the health of monitored systems and sends a report to the management server. SCOM management packs can dictate the data collected, run tasks and other workflows for the agent. The Microsoft Monitoring Agent can also provide application performance monitoring (APM) through SCOM, allowing developers and administrators to monitor web applications and Windows services written with .NET framework. Similarly, the Microsoft Monitoring Agent can operate in standalone mode and perform basic APM using IntelliTrace logs through a development platform, such as Microsoft Visual Studio.
The Microsoft Monitoring Agent works in monitor, trace or custom modes. The monitor mode collects metrics and events, such as critical exceptions. The trace mode uses the Microsoft Monitoring Agent to gather IntelliTrace data for Microsoft Visual Studio. The custom mode allows administrators to make changes to the data collection plan to customize monitoring.
The Microsoft Monitoring Agent can perform continuous application monitoring, providing information about .NET framework application performance and potential disruptions that could affect application availability or user experience. When SCOM is deployed, the Microsoft Monitoring Agent supports continuous monitoring with System Center APM using the .NET Application Performance Monitoring template. SCOM will receive the alerts about application performance problems and failures, or translate APM alerts into IntelliTrace files that are usable through Visual Studio. Running in stand-alone mode, administrators can control the Microsoft Monitoring Agent for data collection and continuous monitoring with PowerShell cmdlets.
The 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Microsoft Monitoring Agent can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center or it can be deployed through the Administration pane of the SCOM console.